DONATION STATUS
Needed before 2017-12-31
$ 1,000
So far donated
$ 1,045
Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2016.
A big thank you to Project Petrucci who has helped us already meet our 2017 goal!

Schubert, Impromptu Op. 90, No. 4

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Vladimir Oppenheim, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Vladimir Oppenheim

    Vladimir Oppenheim Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Concert Pianist, Teacher
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Oppenheim
    First Name:
    Vladimir
    Youtube:
    https://soundcloud.com/vladimiroppenheim
    I would like to present my recording of Schubert's Impromptu Op. 90 No. 4
    Thanks for listening,
    Vladimir
     

    Attached Files:

  2. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    Can I ask why the recording is so distorted? The playing is good, bettter than good even, but the recording technique leaves a lot to be desired. The ending also sounds like it clips and the final decay is missing. There are similar issues with the sound in the other Schubert Impromptu (no.3) which I listened to previously.
     
  3. Vladimir Oppenheim

    Vladimir Oppenheim Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Concert Pianist, Teacher
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Oppenheim
    First Name:
    Vladimir
    Youtube:
    https://soundcloud.com/vladimiroppenheim
    I am sorry, but this is not a studio recording; even though the digital recorder and editing software are pretty decent, the background acoustic could not be entirely eliminated. I am also using minimum of those editing features that affect the sound's originality. Perhaps better results could be achieved, any advice regarding recording techniques?
    Thanks
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    I have my doubts that the recording technique is the issue. There is sufficient distortion in places that I really cannot understand how it is the product of badly placed equipment. If anything, it sounds like the sort of sonic artefaction which occurs when noise reduction or EQ manipulation is over-applied or applied clumsily. Unfortunate considering the general quality of the playing.
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    I've had a quick look at the file in a wave editor. I can say that your input levels were definitely too high. There is serious distortion in places. I've attached three images for illustrative purposes. I just used the beginning and end of the recording. First image is a close up of the waveform; the flattened tops of the sine wave indicate "clipping" where the sound has exceeded the maximum amplitude. Second image is of the end, clipping can be spotted, and also the sound being truncated artificially with no fade-out. Third image is after simulating rebuilding of the waveform at the clip points and shows the extent to which the maximum amplitude has been exceeded (note that the y axis is now from -2 to 2 when in the previous image it was from -1 to 1). Having rebuilt the waveform allowing for excessive amplitude I have then normalised (-5db amplification) it in order to minimise distortion effects, and applied cursory noise reduction: I'm uploaded this as a short sample to see if you or anyone else feels it sounds any better. There remain a variety of other odd noises during the recording - I am not sure if they are squeaky piano stool, domestic electronic noise, or various other issues. They are in some cases probably sufficiently obtrusive that even specialist noise removal tools may have difficulty with them; having sat in a studio doing this for a commercial recording I know just how tedious and time-consuming this can be and it is an unenviable process. I don't think they are pedal noises as they don't appear to correlate with any regularity to harmonic changes. I don't know if this is of any potential use in the future.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Vladimir Oppenheim

    Vladimir Oppenheim Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Concert Pianist, Teacher
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Oppenheim
    First Name:
    Vladimir
    Youtube:
    https://soundcloud.com/vladimiroppenheim
    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you very much for the job you've done and suggestions for improvements!
    I felt that too high input levels played a significant part in distorting the audio. But, since my reluctunce ( unjust perhaps ) to use normalizing, the clipping effect remained unnoticed. I wonder how do you rebuild the wave in order to edit and imrove it later? Indeed, working on the file is time consumingeven if you are familiar with all the technical side of thos tedious process.
    From what I see on your examples, it looks like you are using Audacity. I assume Adobe Audition has many similar functions.
    Yes, your other observations are correct too. Partially is the piano to blame. ( now I have a different piano ) Some of the odd noises are slight knocking of piano keys.
    The corrected sample sounds definitely better.
    Thanks!
    Best regards,
    Vladimir
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Wright
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Youtube:
    alkanliszt
    In Audacity, you rebuild the waveform by "select all" and running "clip fix". This extrapolates the corrected sine wave at the points where the peaks have been flattened due to exceeding 1.0 on the y axis. Once this is done, there will be y peaks above 1.0, so to avoid distortion you then have to select all and either normalise or apply a negative db amplification to the track to bring the peaks to the correct maximal levels.

    In general it is best to test recording levels beforehand by playing chords etc as ff as possible and ensuring that on playback the peak levels don't reach the distortion threshold. I generally set the levels so that such chords reach -6db on the monitor display of my recorder: it is far better to be too quiet (and amplify later) than too loud and generate distortion. Audacity's clip fix algorithm is useful but can't always repair distortions.
     
  8. Vladimir Oppenheim

    Vladimir Oppenheim Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Concert Pianist, Teacher
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Oppenheim
    First Name:
    Vladimir
    Youtube:
    https://soundcloud.com/vladimiroppenheim
    In Adobe Audition the similar function called declip. But definitely, we should not have recourse to a remedy; rather take care of this issue at the recording stage, as you suggest. Thanks for the advice and good ideas! Best regards, Vladimir
     
  9. GiulioPotenza

    GiulioPotenza Italian pianist in London

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Last Name:
    Potenza
    First Name:
    Giulio
    Hi Vladimir,

    I think you did a very good job with the opening semiquavers! They are precise with the right consistency (I play this myself and I know it's not easy to achieve).
    If I may suggest a couple of things, I'd use a bit less pedal on them. I'd also make a more evident diminuendo on the chords closing each phrase (as in ), taking my time.
    When the first part closes, I'd gradually lighten the descending arpeggios before the tempo goes in triplets. I'd also dilate a bit more the tempo before the central part (without exaggerating of course), as it's very contrasting.
    In the central part you deliver the melody very nicely, but I still think pedalling should be less.
    Not sure if you know already, but at Schubert's time piano had less sonority compared to modern instrument, so I personally prefer to use half pedal instead of the full one on Schubert.

    Thanks for posting, I can tell you worked a lot on this and the result is nice to hear
     
  10. Vladimir Oppenheim

    Vladimir Oppenheim Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Concert Pianist, Teacher
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Oppenheim
    First Name:
    Vladimir
    Youtube:
    https://soundcloud.com/vladimiroppenheim
    Hi Giulio, I think that your suggestions are interesting and I would definitely try to implement them! In Shubert's music I find more of the lyrical and poetic qualities rather than dramatic, generally speaking, of course. So, those nuances that you mention would enhance the overall impression. Yes, clearer pedal is a good idea too, even though the very fact that in Shubert's era pianos were incapable of producing rich sonorities should not prevent us from experimenting with pedal on our modern instruments. Thanks also for attaching Zimmerman's recording. I liked it. Kind regards.
     

Share This Page